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Be Kind Rewind - Underappreciated Soundtracks ... of Fire!

By Michael Nazarewycz

When you mention ‘80s movies, soundtracks come to mind. And when you mention ‘80s movie soundtracks, there are many that are easy to remember: Footloose; Top Gun; Vision Quest; Purple Rain. But there were some fun movies in the ‘80s with really good soundtracks that are often overshadowed by the giants of the era. Here is a pair with a unique title similarity!


Streets of Fire soundtrack (1984)Streets of Fire
Starring Michael Paré, Diane Lane, Rick Moranis, Amy Madigan, and Willem Dafoe
Directed by Walter Hill

In a time that looks like it’s part past and part future, rock star Ellen Aim (Lane) is kidnapped by gang leader Raven Shaddock (Dafoe). Aim’s current love and manager, Billy Fish (Moranis), hires her true love and ex-boyfriend, tough guy Tom Cody (Paré), to rescue her. The entire film is like a comic book come to life. On the soundtrack, you will find the anthemic “Tonight Is What It Means To Be Young” by Fire Inc.; the haunting “Sorcerer” by Marilyn Martin; “Deeper and Deeper” by ‘80s fave The Fixx; and the Billboard Top 10 hit “I Can Dream About You” by Dan Hartman.

Great Balls of Fire! soundtrack (1989)Great Balls of Fire!
Starring Dennis Quaid, Winona Ryder, and Alec Baldwin
Directed by Jim McBride

Quaid is over-the-top in his portrayal of legendary musician Jerry Lee Lewis – the man who could have toppled Elvis Presley were it not for some bad choices in his personal life. This biopic covers Lewis’ meteoric rise; his competition with The King; his relationship with his cousin, future televangelist Jimmy Swaggart (Baldwin); and the scandal that ruined his career: his affair with, and marriage to, his underage cousin, Myra (Ryder). It’s formulaic as bios go, but Quaid and the music make it worth it. Movie soundtracks like Dirty Dancingng and The Big Chill didn’t corner the market on offering hits from the ‘50s and ‘60s to kids from the ‘80s. This film’s record not only features the original recording of the title track, it also features a great re-record by Lewis (aka The Killer Himself). Lewis also re-recorded for this soundtrack (and to great effect) his past hits “High School Confidential,” “Breathless,” “That Lucky Old Sun,” and a wonderful duet of “Crazy Arms” with Quaid, who can carry a tune.

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